Learning and Creativity at Work

Toni Ivergard and Brian Hunt

CONTENTS

11.1 Similarities between Learning and Creativity………………………………………… 291

11.1.1 Perspective…………………………………………………………………………………. 292

11.1.2 Shifting the Paradigm: From Control Rooms to Control Centres…292

11.2 Education, Training, and Learning as a Part of Daily Work………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 293

11.3 Aiming for Success in Education, Training, and Learning………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 294

11.3.1 Simulator Training…………………………………………………………………….. 297

11.3.2 The Concept of Control Centres……………………………………………….. 299

11.4 Some Theoretical Perspectives of Learning and Creativity at Work……… 300

11.5 The Environment of Modern Control Centres for Creativity and

Learning……………………………………………………………………………………………… 302

11.6 The Chain of Causality for Learning and Creativity…………………………….. 303

11.7 Artificial Intelligence, Simulation, and Creativity………………………………….. 304

11.8 Learning from the Scandinavian Experience………………………………………… 305

11.8.1 Some Scandinavian Leaders in Creativity and Innovation………. 305

11.8.2 Underlying Rationales for Learning at Work…………………………….. 306

11.9 Summary and Conclusions…………………………………………………………………….. 307

References and Further Reading……………………………………………………………………….. 308

11.1 SIMILARITIES BETWEEN LEARNING AND CREATIVITY

There is much evidence that learning is facilitated by a free and open environ­ment. This is what is often called a ‘high-ceiling’ or an error-tolerant environment (Florida, 2006). Many authors and researchers claim this type of environment will also facilitate creativity and innovation (Ekvall, 1996; Florida, 2006). It is therefore understandable that in the minds of many people learning and creativity are one and the same. In a modern way of looking at learning we understand that learning has to be a kind of creative process. The learner needs to reinvent the new knowledge to internalise this in order to obtain the ownership of the knowledge. The iterative intellectual enquiry as an inherent part of a creative process is in many ways similar to our understanding of an efficient process of learning (Schon, 1982; Ivergard, 2000).

11.1.1 Perspective

In this chapter we describe the environment of control centres from the perspective of facilitating learning and the creation of new knowledge and skills. We are also look at the perspective of functional and process engineering development. The sources of this learning and creativity are the control centre individuals themselves. Daily experiences in the control centre allow the operatives ideal opportunities to learn and apply that learning towards improving work tasks, the work environment, and system design. Such learning opportunities increase when operatives work in teams and have the possibility of seeing work tasks from several related perspectives.

We describe briefly the development of control rooms, from the add-on work resources of past generations to the high-technology control centres of the current day. Although the physical environments and work conditions may have changed, it is noticeable that, in general, there has been a lag in making improvements in how control rooms are managed. Nowadays, control room operatives and technicians may be educated to higher levels of abilities and have the benefit of belonging to the Internet generation that regards itself as technology-savvy. However, too frequently neglected is the possibility of using these skills to optimise the environment for control room work.